What does a booking agent do?

#Booking Agent #Booking Agency #Live #Live Shows #Showcases #Festivals #Cypher

A booking agent is a major cog in the machine that is your new career. They’ll be one of the many business partners whom you pay to manage a certain income stream of your business in return for a percentage of the income from that stream.

A booking agent is a major cog in the machine that is your new career. They’ll be one of the many business partners whom you pay to manage a certain income stream of your business in return for a percentage of the income from that stream. 


The booking agent


The income stream a booking agent manages is that of performing live. Think of them as part employment agent and part salesman. Their role is to seek opportunities for the artist they represent to perform live. Working up to a year ahead, they’re in constant contact with promoters trying to secure live shows, club or festival slots, support slots and corporate gigs. In addition, they may seek radio and TV performances if suitable for the artist. 

When it comes to tours, the booking agent must carefully plan the schedule to ensure that it’s manageable for the band and the production team.
How does a booking agent advance my career?

More long term, a booking agent will look to develop their artist’s career through these bookings, working closely with the artist’s manager and record label to ensure the bookings are going to benefit the artist and are in-line with their career trajectory. So that may mean support slots for relevant artists, then your own gigs, before you begin to climb the ranks of festival billings and eventually headline Glastonbury! The aim is to build a fan base by seeking shows where those future fans are likely to be. 

Gig secured, the booking agent must negotiate a strong deal for the artist, whilst satisfying any demands the promoter may have. This may be a flat fee or a percentage of ticket sales, depending on the type of gig. The booking agent may also help to seek sponsors for live shows and get involved in marketing and promotion from the artist’s perspective, for example sending out an email to the artist’s fan base informing them of the upcoming appearance.

What else can a booking agent do for me?


Lots of booking agents will also offer management services, distribution and publicity assistance.

How do I find a good booking agent?


A solid booking agent needs to be up to date on music trends, especially in your chosen niche, and they need to display an impressive set of network contacts. Booking agents are constantly on the lookout for new talent to represent, but if you hear of an artist similar to you and you like the kind of gigs they’re getting, there’s no harm in reaching out with a personalised email and a link to your work. If your agent works for a larger talent agency, they may be able to get you on the support slot for one of the agencies major acts, which will be a great boost to your career.

Your booking agent will be the difference between you playing dodgy gigs in empty clubs and concerts full of potential fans waiting to hear the next big thing: you. 

Discover more tips and advice on establishing your music career at our Industry Takeover seminars. Find out more HERE